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Ask Joy: What if I don’t have a requirements management tool?

Angela asks “For a company without a requirements management tool, can you suggest methods or models for tracking requirements relationships across different workstreams (aka silos)?”
Obviously using a tool is best, but unfortunately many companies don’t budget to allow using a tool. Over time, hopefully we can help them see the ROI of a tool is definitely positive. But in the mean time, here are some ideas for what you can do without a tool.

The most helpful model you can use is a requirements mapping matrix (RMM) in excel. You can think of this as a traceability matrix, but with an RMM, you can trace more than one type of object at a time. For example, you could trace business objectives to features to process flow steps to requirements all in one matrix.

In fact, if you create any other models, you could label the individual objects of those models with unique identifers or names and then put them in this matrix to trace. For example, with process flows, the ID and name of each step can go into a row in the matrix. Then you duplicate the step in a new row for each requirement that maps to it. This helps you find any missing requirements (steps without requirements) or missing steps (requirements without steps).

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